This was probably not the return Albert Pujols expected. The Detroit Tigers winning their second straight in walk-off style. Mike Parisi allowed a walk-off win on Thursday as the Tigers defeated the Cardinals 3-2.
Parisi started the 10th inning with a walk to leadoff man Curtis Granderson. The young reliever would go onto load the bases with walks, two being intentional, and he would end the game in the same fashion.
With a 3-2 count, Clete Thomas drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off walk. The Cardinals bullpen once again could not hold onto the lead as the Tigers won the series 2-1.
The Cardinals had just activated their star slugger Albert Pujols before the game who was put into the DH spot. He did not disappoint. Batting 4-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, the perennial all-star showed no signs of slowing down from his calf injury.
The rest of the Cardinals offense struggled to keep up leaving 12 men on base, a growing trend for the Redbirds the past few weeks.
The big guns Troy Glaus, Ryan Ludwick, and Rick Ankiel batted a horrible 1-for-15 while leaving the majority of runners on base. In true inefficiency, the Cardinals managed only two runs on 14 hits. The heavy hitters also managed to strike out five times between them.
Todd Wellemeyer made his first start since June 13th against the Phillies where he gave up eight runs in a blowout loss. He pitched five innings of shutout baseball while only giving up four hits and striking out three.
The Redbirds bullpen once again blew the save as Ryan Franklin gave up a monstrous solo shot to Gary Sheffield. Sheffield, hero of yesterday's game, came up big once again as he continues to heat up after coming off the disabled list.
Ron Villone also contributed to the wasted pitching efforts of starter Todd Wellemeyer as he managed to walk two batters earning himself a run. Villone has to be the redheaded stepchild of the Cardinals bullpen as manager Tony LaRussa stared him down as he walked to the mound and was replaced by Jason Isringhausen.
A very tough loss to suffer as the rain delay from yesterday's game struck again. Both teams started off strong, but as the innings mounted the Cardinals and Tigers were running on fumes. The Tigers apparently just had one more cylinder running than the Redbirds.